Same O' ICANN: Lack of Accountability, Transparency, Failure to Protect the Public Interest

While CCWG-Accountability meets for two days starting today (Monday, January 19, 2015) in Frankfurt, Germany, trying to solve ICANN's lack of accountability--which may not even be fixable due to systemic issues, including its organizational form, Domain Mondo came across this sad reminder of how dysfunctional ICANN is, and always has been (excerpt follows, link below):

14 July 2010: "... ICANN is run too much like a large corporation and not enough like a genuine public interest organization. Besides the "corporate culture", the legal corporate governance structure of ICANN is a significant part of the problem in the organization's lack of accountability and transparency. California law requires the ICANN Board of Directors to be the ultimate decision makers for ICANN policy and governance matters. This is inherently at adds with providing an independent mechanism to check that decision making process, which is required for good public governance. Under California law, which governs ICANN, the organization's board of directors is ultimately responsible and has the final say on decisions; but the reality is that the workload required to understand all the issues is unrealistic for a volunteer board. The result is that staff "briefs" the board according to the staff's desires, ultimately managing the process that an over-extended board cannot. The problem of "staff capture" creates a significant and growing problem for ICANN's accountability and transparency (particularly given the exploding budget and overpaid staff & consultants). The staff's practice of providing secret briefing papers to the board on matters of key policy or governance dramatically undermines their claims of transparency and openness. There must also be more openness and transparency in viewing board deliberations at ICANN. Board decisions are made in secret without the community having an understanding of the reasoning behind the policy decisions and the specific positions taken by those chosen to represent them. The board should be less concerned with demonstrating a unified public front on policy decisions - a practice that encourages secretly negotiating unanimous votes with no public airing of the various views of the board. The board owes -- and community needs to witness -- a substantive dialectic at the board level on public policy issues. Each board member's individual vote should be recorded and published, as is done for legitimate public governance institutions in the interests of transparency and good governance..." (read more at: 
FW: Lack of Accountability to Non-Commercial Users Remains Problematic for ICANN's Promise to Protect the Public Interest by Robin Gross, IP Justice Executive Director)

For more information on the CCWG-Accountability meeting in Frankfurt, including the link to view the meeting online go to expvc.com.

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